Cumberland County, Tenn., OKs Bid for Emergency Communication Radios

County emergency responders will have 108 new portable emergency communication radios after the county's financial management committee recently approved the bid.

by Gary Nelson, Crossville Chronicle, Tenn. / December 4, 2017

(TNS) — Cumberland County Emergency responders will have 108 new portable emergency communication radios after the county's financial management committee recently approved the bid.

AMK Services LLC of Anderson, Ind., was awarded the bid at $1,441.10 for 108 Harris XG-15P portable radios and microphones and cases for use in the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, Cumberland County Fire Department and Cumberland County EMS department.

The AMK total bid of $155,638.80 was not the low bid for the radios.

Communications Group Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., submitted a low bid of $135,856.44 after factory rebate.

In a letter to Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. and the Financial Management Committee, Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox, Cumberland County Fire Chief Trevor Kerley and Cumberland County EMS Director Chris Miller cited their reasons for recommending the AMK radios.

"Upon reviewing and comparing the bids, we collectively determined the AMK with Harris Portables would be the appropriate decision. While accepting a lower bid would be beneficial in $7,000-$15,000 in funding, the overall outcome would result in more future spending and possible partnership issues. By accepting a lower bid and changing brands, emergency personnel would be operating two different brands of radios. This would require communicating between two different vendors and purchasing accessories for both types of radios. ... There will also be possible problems or delays with radio programming ...," the letter states.

The county most recently purchased similar radios for the emergency communications upgrade. The additional 108 radio purchase will put all departments on level. The county currently has a maintenance agreement with AMK Services, as well.

The older Kenwood portable radios the county currently owns and have been using have had several issues with dead spots.

The bid was unanimously approved.

Cumberland County EMS will soon have two new ambulances for transports and emergency medical help after the county's financial management committee approved and awarded the bids for purchase.

Northwestern Emergency Vehicles of West Jefferson, N.C., was the sole bidder for the two new ambulances.

EMS Director Miller said the new ambulances are General Motors chassis with gas engines, rather than diesel.

"The gas engine is going to be easier and cheaper to maintain," Miller said.

Several ambulances in the county's fleet are close to aging out or having mechanical problems.

"We've had two down for a while and one has been in the shop for months," Miller said.

Once an ambulance has 225,000 miles or is 10 years old, it has to be taken out of service by the county for medical use.

In the past several years the chassis have been saved and have been remounted with a new medical box, or unit on the back, which holds the supplies and transports the patient.

"Some of these have been remounted twice and they're falling apart, and we can't use them," Miller said.

Three other dealers were contacted for bidding on the units, but none of them responded.

One new ambulance unit is a 2018 Chevrolet Type I C-3500 gas ambulance and was bid at $139,871. A Type I ambulance is based upon a heavy truck chassis and has a larger box mounted on the chassis.

The second new unit is a 2017 Chevrolet Type III G-4500 gas ambulance and was bid at $139,993. The Type III is a van chassis but with a custom-made rear compartment.

The combined total for both new units is $279,864, which is within the $280,000 that was budgeted for the purchase.

Miller said both of the new units will have a little more room in them than the older units.

The bid was approved and accepted unanimously after a motion was made by Jack Davis, 5th District commissioner. Dave Hassler, 3rd District commissioner, supported the motion.

Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock said the units should be in ready for the county by mid-April 2018, according to the vendor.

The committee also approved the following bids:

  • $18,472.22 for a convection steamer with filtration system for the Cumberland County Jail. The low bid was submitted by Pueblo Hotel Supply of Pueblo, Colo.
  • $163,998 for a 2018 Mack GU713 roll-off sanitation truck. The approved bid was submitted by Municipal Equipment of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • $24,900 for flat roof repair and replacement at the Milo Lemert Building. The sole bid was submitted by Turner Roofing of Crossville.

Gary Nelson may be reached at


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